"Grow Your Own" Workforce Strategies Produce Quality Talent

Suncoast Community Health Centers took on the task of establishing a career academy to ease their staffing issues and find qualified applicants for their open positions.
BRANDON, Fla. - March 24, 2022 - PRLog -- Suncoast Community Health Centers, Inc. has found a way to bring some relief to their workforce issues by utilizing a "grow your own" workforce strategy with the founding of the Suncoast Career Academy. The Academy provides training for individuals seeking a career as a Dental Assistant or Pharmacy Technician. Both are programs that help fill open positions necessary for the Health Center to provide much-needed services to the communities it serves.

"Our Suncoast Career Academy Graduates have become a key component of growing our workforce," said Brad Herremans, CEO of Suncoast Community Health Centers, "they are one of the reasons we are able to staff the largest pediatric dental program in the country." Because the Academy can generate potential employees for the Health Center, it is an excellent example of "grow your own" workforce strategies. "Grow your own" strategies align the workforce needs of an employer by creating a talent pipeline of trained, high-quality candidates that can fill open positions. Like provider residency models, the Academy offers classroom training and on-the-job experience in a real-world setting. Students are engaged with active practitioners and learn technical and experiential content as part of their courses. While the curriculum for each program is aligned with and matches industry-recognized credentialing requirements, students are provided additional opportunities for learning and exploration through direct engagement with the Health Center.

The Academy is a subsidiary of Suncoast Community Health Center, Inc. In this model, the Academy leverages resources, including its instructors, from providers employed by the Health Center. The typical model of physician residency programs is mirrored in strategies like apprenticeships and career academies for entry-level positions, including at Suncoast Career Academy. Due to their internships in a real-world setting provided at the Health Center, graduates become highly coveted applicants in the workplace, filling many of the open positions at Community Health Centers in the area.

Community Health Centers throughout Florida are actively working to build and expand "grow your own" workforce development strategies at all workforce levels. The classroom and real-world experience create a level of engagement between the employer and student not always seen in traditional academic settings. With competition for healthcare workers increasing, these strategies lead to successful recruitment and retention models.

Learn more about Suncoast Career Academy at http://www.suncoastcareeracademy.com/.
Visit us at https://www.fachc.org/.

Sheila Zachow
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